Review – All of Me by Cardeno C

All of MePublisher: Dreamspinner
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: eARC from author

Bonded by their parents before they were conceived, Abel Nasa and Zakai “Kai” Berura adored each other since they were children. As teens, the two future Alphas took the next step in their bonding process and vowed to remain true to one another until Kai came of age. But when tragedy struck, Abel felt betrayed and ran from Kai instead of completing the mating bond.

Years pass with no contact between the two, but Abel never stops yearning for the man who was supposed to lead by his side. When Kai returns, broken and on death’s door, Abel must look past what he saw and trust his heart so they can fulfill their destiny and merge their packs.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I am always on the lookout for good m/m shifter books, so when C emailed me about this latest release, I decided I needed to take a chance.

Abel was raised knowing that he would be not only Alpha, but mated to Kai in order to join their packs. They were fated from birth to not only mate, but join together to rule over both their packs. Abel grew up with a bond to Kai, but it all came crashing down around him when he walked in on a scene that ripped his heart out.

After years apart, Abel has moved on with his life, but never forgotten Kai. When he is forced to deal with Kai face to face, the past spills out and Abel must not only find a way to heal Kai on both the inside and out. But also find a way to finally bind their packs together.

I really liked the set up with this book, but I felt like the shorter word count left a lot of the story untold. I would have liked to see Abel and Kai have to work a little harder at reconciling their relationship. Instead, I felt as if they went from this really close friendship as kids and young adults to having no contact for years. Suddenly, they are reunited and they are declaring their love for each other without having to really deal with the drama of their separation. It felt a little like insta-love (even though they knew each other their whole lives), because they hadn’t spoken in so long, and yet were ready to declare their undying devotion to each other only days later.

I also thought the overall story was really interesting, but again, I would have liked to see more of it play out on the page. I felt like a lot of the plot was glossed over, or briefly explained. I would have really liked to see more of Kai’s home pack and the ongoing problems flushed out, especially as it related to his past.

I think C is a really good writer, however I don’t know that novellas are the best introduction to her writing. Again, it just feels as if so much of the story was left out to accommodate the shorter word count, and because of it my enjoyment of the book suffered overall.

All in all, while I liked the set up of this short, I struggled really getting into the story. I needed more depth and backstory and time with the characters to really connect with them. I think if I would have had more, I could have really gotten deeper with both Abel and Kai, and really fallen for them in the way I was hoping to. While I still recommend reading C, this isn’t the book I would suggest you start with.
I give All of Me a C

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